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Area Employers Strategies

Corporate and Public Finance

  • Financial Analysis

  • Cash Management

  • Credit Management

  • Budget Analysis

  • Investment Management

  • Investor Relations

  • Financial Reporting

  • Payroll

  • Benefits

  • Real Estate

  • Risk Management

Private businesses of all sizes and types

State and local government entities

Federal agencies including: Internal Revenue Service, Treasury Department

Schools and universities

Non-profit organizations



Complete a related internship. Develop strong computer skills, including spreadsheets, databases, and presentation

software. Sharp analytical skills are crucial in this industry. Earn an MBA to reach the highest levels of corporate finance.


  • Corporate Credit Analysis

  • Commercial Lending

  • Trust Management

  • Capital Services and Mergers & Acquisitions

  • Mortgage Loans

  • Originations and Packaging

  • Branch Management

  • Operations

  • Cash Management

  • Credit Scoring and Risk Management

  • Private Banking

Commercial banks

Credit unions

Savings and loan associations

Savings banks

Mortgage banks

Captive finance companies

Regulatory agencies including: Federal Reserve, FDIC, OCC, OTS

Develop a solid background in business including marketing and accounting.

Get experience through part-time, summer or internship positions in a financial service firm. Develop strong interpersonal and communication skills in order to work well with a diverse clientele.


  • Claims Analysis

  • Underwriting

  • Risk Management

  • Sales

  • Actuarial Science

  • Loss Control

Life insurance firms

Property and casualty insurance firms

Commercial banks

Savings banks

Complete an internship with an insurance agency. Talk to professionals in the industry to learn more about claims, underwriting, and risk management. Many good, entry-level positions exist in these areas. Initiative and sales ability are necessary to be a successful agent or broker. Develop strong communication skills, as many positions require interaction with others and the ability to explain information clearly and concisely. Take additional statistics classes to prepare for a career in actuary science. Prepare to take the first in a series of actuarial examinations.

Personal Financial Planning

  • Sales

  • Customer Service

  • Operations

  • Portfolio Management

Brokerage firms

Trust companies

Financial partnerships

Multi-line insurance firms

Sole practitioners

Gain experience in sales. Must be highly motivated and entrepreneurial.

Research how one obtains the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation. 

Develop a solid personal network.

Real Estate

  • Residential Brokerage

  • Commercial Sales

  • Appraisals

  • Property Management

  • Real Estate Portfolio Management

Real estate brokers

Commercial banks

Appraisal firms

Apartment and condominium complexes


Real estate investment trusts

Mutual funds

Obtain sales experience through part-time, summer or internship positions.

Research how to become a real estate broker through the National Association of Realtors. Develop an entrepreneurial spirit. Research apprenticeships in appraisal.

Investment Banking

  • Corporate Financial Analysis

  • Mergers and Acquisitions

  • Equity and Debt

  • Underwriting

  • Institutional Bond and Equity Sales

  • Retail Bond and Equity Sales

  • Business Valuation

  • Business Sale Transactions

  • Currency Trading

  • Derivatives, e.g. options


    Venture Capital Fund Management

    New Venture Analysis

Investment banking firms (Changes in laws have created a fluid situation in this industry; Mergers and acquisitions continue to take place.)

Financial services firms

Insurance firms (The Gramm Leach Bliley Act of 1999 allowed financial services firms to acquire or build investment banking subsidiaries and vice versa.)

An M.B.A. is required to move beyond the entry-level analyst position in investment banking. Investment banking is highly competitive. Be prepared to work many hours of overtime per week, start at the bottom, and pay your dues.

Develop strong analytical and communication skills. Cultivate personal ambitiousness. Obtain a Series 7 License for both institutional and retail broker sales positions. Work toward the CFA designation

Money Management

  • Research



    Portfolio Management

Portfolio management firms

Commercial banks

Investment banks

Federal Reserve banks

Insurance firms

Most positions require an advanced degree in economics, finance or business and many years of financial experience.

Strategies for placement in Finance

  • Quantitative skills are extremely important. Take additional courses in math, statistics, and accounting.

  • Many positions in finance require the ability to analyze and interpret data.

  • Develop strong interpersonal and communication skills. Cultivate an eye for detail.

  • Gain experience through internships, summer and part-time positions.

  • Read the Wall Street Journal and other financial news magazines to stay abreast of current events and to learn more about the industry.

  • Join student professional associations in the field of finance.

  • Several professional designations and licenses, e.g. Chartered Financial Analyst or Certified Financial Planner, are available to finance professionals working in a particular area. Earning these designations may help one obtain advanced positions.

Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (2005) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section
504/ADA /ADEA Employer.


Information for Accounting, Finance and H.R. Students from SmartPros
Certified Financial Planners Board of Standards 
Insurance Information Institute 
Financial News